Town Planning Permit (FAQ's)

In most cases the answer is Yes. If the site is a heritage site or in a heritage area a TPP is required. If the site is a small and within the inner area of the city or town or it’s a standard site where the proposal is very similar to the surrounding sites, permits are generally excluded.

The Town Planning Department at your local council can provide us with details of what is required however, it depends on your proposal and often the council may require drawings to explain your request. If your plans are straight forward and within the local planning requirements, there should be no hesitation in providing you with the information. If you wish to handle this part of the process, we can provide you with an initial design if drawings are required by the council to respond to your request.

Obviously, this depends on many factors associated with your project. This part of the building process is the most unpredictable and is dependent on several things, such as your design expectations, local planning laws and council planning departments. Your neighbors’ response to your project should also be taken into account. It is advised you start your planning at least eighteen (18) months before you select your proposed builder, as the number of consultants, contractors and steps involved, is often a lengthy process. If your permits are granted earlier, you can start your project sooner.

As soon as possible. The longer you take to design your proposal, the greater the chance you have of getting it right. Please call us for free one on one consultation on 1300 767 893.

Yes, in most cases you can appeal. No planning application can be absolutely guaranteed regardless of the quality of the design or past success. Many things can cause problems such as objections from neighbors and so on. There can be conflict between client expectations and council requirements. Property Subdivision have developed a system that has a 100% success rate and if we decide to undertake your project, we will guarantee the permit with a 100% Money Back Guarantee on our fee. (The guarantee does not include the VCAT appeal process or costs incurred.)

As simple as the question seems, that answer is a little more complicated. There are set rules and guidelines for each and every area and property within that area.

The shape, orientation and slope of your lot and any other site-specific features that may prevent development must be acknowledged upfront.

When proposing a new development there are a number of factors to take into consideration that will influence how many units you can fit on your property.

Even with set rules, each property has a different orientation and the slope boundaries are also in different lengths and positions. So, when looking at a proposed development site there are number of key factors to take into account that may determine the number of dwellings you can fit on your property.

Key Factors

Vehicle access, turning circles and driveways

Minimum private open space areas required for each unit

Number of bedrooms will dictate the number of car parks required

Energy efficient design requiring good northern solar access to windows and private open space areas

Minimum site and permeability coverage areas required for your property setback

distances required from property boundaries

Setback distances required to the street frontage

Impacts upon adjoining and surrounding properties including overshadowing, overlooking and excessive building bulk and scale

Building height proposed with respect to adjoining and surrounding building heights in some case the building heights imposed as an overlay specific to your property


In addition to the above, your local council will also have local planning policies that include specific planning controls for your local council area. This may well include additional requirements that control development and potentially limit the number of units allowed on your property.

There is no easy answer to the number of units you will fit on your property until you take all of the above factors into account. Property Subdivision will look at all these factors and determine the number of dwellings allowed for your project before you outlay any money.

Anyone can lodge an objection to your local council up until the final decision is made to approve or refuse your application. If an objection has been lodged, Property Subdivision will meet with your local council planning department to negotiate the grounds for objections and the ways to overcome the issues raised by the objector. This may involve changing your plans or having a specific conditions placed on the planning permit. If several objections have been lodged, then your local council will most likely organise a consultation or mediation meeting with Property Subdivision and the objectors to discuss the issues raised by objectors. In most cases, these issues can be resolved. The local council can still support your planning application even if objections have been received but may include conditions on the planning permit. Council may also require that your plans be changed to address the grounds for objection. Property Subdivision will coordinate the negotiations to ensure that any conditions will not affect the viability of your project. Once an objection has been lodged and your local council decides to support your planning application, you will be issued with a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit, which lasts for a minimum period of 21 days. A copy of your Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit will also be sent to all of the objectors. They have the opportunity to lodge an application for review against local council decision at VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal) within the 21-day notice period.

A Section 173 Agreement is a legal contract made between the council and another party or parties, under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act (1987).

A landowner is normally the other party to the Agreement, while in some cases a third party, such as a Referral Authority may also be involved.

An agreement is drawn up where there are additional matters that need to be addressed which a permit or planning scheme may not cover. The agreement will outline these matters, so they can be seen to and not overlooked.

An Agreement can end after a specified event or time period outlined in the section 173 Agreement.

A Planning Permit is a legal document issued by the local council. It grants permission for different types of land uses or development to be undertaken on specific properties.

The decision is made by Town Planners who have delegated authority from local council. Delegation allows the Council Officer to consider and decide on applications where there are five or less objections and approval of the permit is being recommended.

If there are six (6) or more objections to an application or if the council town planner is recommending refusal of the application, then the decision needs to be made by either the Development Hearings Panel or the Planning Committee of your local council.

A neighbourhood design site analysis is required to be submitted to your local council in support of any application for residential development that requires a Planning Permit. This document outlines the neighbourhood character of the area in which the development is proposed. More specifically, it provides details as to the location of dwellings and open space on immediate adjoining properties as well as the setback of immediate adjoining dwellings within the street.

This analysis should also include a review of the neighbourhood character of the area and detail how the development proposal complies with this.

Applications are registered with local council and given a number. An application is then allocated to a planner. Applicants will receive a letter from the council telling them the application number and the name of the planner dealing with it.

Note: Councils are bound to accept all applications lodged. Accepting an application does not necessarily mean council support of the proposed development or use.

All applications to subdivide land require a planning permit from the local council.

A fundamental part of the Victorian Planning System is to allow people affected by a planning decision to be given the opportunity to publicly comment on what is proposed before the decision is made.

Advertising is the formal notice provided to others about a planning application. You will need to advertise if it is considered that the application might cause material detriment to any person. Unless the council is satisfied that there is no material detriment, notice of the application must be given.


Notice may be given by:

direct mail to all adjoining owners and those who occupy the property

a public notice erected on the property for 14 days

a public notice placed in the local newspaper


There are generally two options which our customers chose:

Subdivide/Town Planning Permits and sell the land

Subdivide/Town Planning Permits, build and sell


If you decide to choose option 2, you will need a Building Permit. The below information will explain this in more detail.

Building Permit (FAQ's)

In most cases you do need a Building Permit unless the projects are very small and only involves internal work. A building surveyor at your local council will supply you with the necessary information. In any event, do not undertake any building work without determining if a Building Permit is required. Not having a Building Permit will prove extremely costly and result in penalties that amount to more than the value of the work you have had done on the building itself. It also may affect your insurance and your capacity to sell the project at completion.

To get a Building Permit, you are required to produce working drawings, specifications, engineering plans, a soil report and an energy rating report. These documents, fully describe the proposed project. For the working drawings, you need to have plans, elevations and sections with a description of the materials to be used in the construction. If you wish, we can undertake the working drawings for your project at this stage. If you would like to use our expertise, we can advise you of our fee structure for providing the working drawings and specifications. We can refer you to a list of reputable consultants to prepare the balance of your building documentation.

This would depend on the size and nature of the project. In most cases, a project would require at least a structural and civil engineering consultant and a registered Land surveyor.

Property Subdivision often appoints professional consultants along with the building designer.

A Building Permit is issued by a registered building surveyor. This may be a council or private building surveyor, depending on your area and circumstance. A fee is paid by the owners to the building surveyor. Property Subdivision can produce and make any amendments to these drawings that may be required. Now the checking process begins. If the building surveyor finds that these amendments have been made to his satisfaction, he would then issue a building permit. Work on any site should only begin when you have a marked drawing set, from the building surveyor showing a building permit stamped. The time taken for a building permit can be fairly accurately assessed as long as you have a Town Planning Permit for the project, and you do not need to continue advertising.

During a number of inspections carried out throughout the building process, our building surveyor generally checks the building structure to make sure it complies with the Building Code of Australia and Associated Codes. His responsibility does not include checking the work of the builder or determine when payments are to be made to the builder. This arrangement must be made with the person doing “The Administration of Contract” and in most cases is evaluated by your lending institution along with our project manager.

No. The designed drawings and council approval are for the subject site only and for that specific building. The building designer owns the copyright on those drawings for that particular site and project and they can only be used for that particular project.

There is a copyright issue here again. The ownership of those designs belongs to the author and can only be reproduced in part with the written permission of the author. If you have certain ideas, which you would like to incorporate or include in your design, write them in as points and supply them to your Property Subdivision consultant. We will then discuss this with you to see how best they can be developed for your project.

Yes, it is possible to buy a copyright on a design so that more than one house can be built to the same design, if you pay the agreed sum to the author of the drawings. Usually, depending on the demands of town planning (if required) and other site documentation requirements, the amount paid for a multi-use dwelling design can be partially reduced.

Usually fifty years after the author’s death. A solicitor would be able to give you more specific information on this subject.

Firstly, you should remember that any changes in design might need to be approved by council and the building surveyor. The building designer should be informed of any changes made. Property Subdivision has taken the headache out of obtaining dual occupancy and subdivision permits. We organise the relevant permits from your council and even co-ordinate and project manage the whole process for you.

Property Subdivision have taken the headache out of obtaining planning dual occupancy subdivision permits!

We organise the relevant permits from your council and even co-ordinate and project manage the whole process for you.